Sony and illegal rootkits

Moosh

Well-known Member
Hi all

I found the following article of interest:

http://www.sysinternals.com/blog/2005/10/sony-rootkits-and-digital-rights.html

In what's set to be 2005's hottest story yet Sony have been found to install illegal Trojan horse-based digital restrictions management (DRM) technology that installs itself as a rootkit on Windows PCs.

Users who purchase certain Sony Music CDs from online stores like Amazon are subject to this rootkit being installed on their machines. According to Sysinternals' Mark Russinovich the kit installs itself in hidden directories and attempts to mask its existence as "Essential System Tools".

What's more fun is that attempting to remove the rootkit with common tools that perform a RKR scan will render a Windows XP machine useslesss. "Users that stumble across the cloaked files with a RKR scan will cripple their computer if they attempt the obvious step of deleting the cloaked files," Mark wrote in an online blog entry yesterday.

So what exactly is Sony playing at? Installing rootkit software that's not identified in its EULA and rendering machines useless if users try to remove the software! This is taking the RIAA effort a little too far.
:mad:

Any thoughts on this?

Moosh
 

batesym

Standard Member
Nice one Sony. Cant wait for some Americans to file a law suit. That'll make for interesting reading. "I was just performing a virus scan when....

Could be usefull in the long run, if manufacturers avoid DRM stuff. Can you imagine the uproar if cars came with devices so you couldn't break the speed limit!!
 

Dankeech

Well-known Member
batesym said:
Nice one Sony. Cant wait for some Americans to file a law suit. That'll make for interesting reading. "I was just performing a virus scan when....

Could be usefull in the long run, if manufacturers avoid DRM stuff. Can you imagine the uproar if cars came with devices so you couldn't break the speed limit!!
More like, when you broke the speed limit in your car, your house doors & window won't open, your DVD player packs up, the Car stops running until you do some time-consuming work and your phone is cut off till reinstall. then people stop you from doing your work as well.

Damn Sony.
 

Steve_P

Active Member
I was shocked too when I read those articles...

Makes for some scary reading. :(

No surprise that Sony are the villians yet again. :thumbsdow I hope they get their arses kicked for that.

S.
 

Moosh

Well-known Member
I'm wondering if Microsoft will have something to say about Sony's actions. If a punter has to reinstall his/her computer because their antivirus software found and deleted the offending files then it doesn't put Windows in a very good light.

Moosh

PS: Let's try and keep this on topic without refering to Windows stability or lack thereof! ;)
 

sirlukas

Active Member
Hey Guys, that's why I am using NOD32 and Kerio Personal Firewall, all the trojan horses are useless....


Do Not Panic ;)
 

kennydies

Active Member
I do like these install on insert CD. They spend millions on DRM software which can be bypassed by holding down "shift" when you put the CD in :)
 

mcfarfs

Banned
kennydies said:
I do like these install on insert CD. They spend millions on DRM software which can be bypassed by holding down "shift" when you put the CD in :)
What do you mean?
 

sirlukas

Active Member
mcfarfs said:
What do you mean?
He Means, that One can avoid autoplay of the CD, I already turned it off :lesson:
 

batesym

Standard Member
If this kind of crap is on their cds, makes me wonder what they've got bundled on their sonicstage software.

If more people kicked up a fuss about this, Sony would rethink their plans. These corporations are driven by PROFIT, that doesnt just boil down to how many cds they sell but also their image.
 

vtah236

Standard Member
The pity is that Sony generates a lot of consumer goodwill by virtue of manufacturing high-quality hardware. Their obsession with DRM, piracy, copying etc simply undermines this.
 

mrtbag

Well-known Member
vtah236 said:
BBC are now carrying the story

"Sony attacked over anti-piracy CD"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4400148.stm
Reading this from the above article:

If Sony BMG released XCP copy-protected CDs in the UK this oversight could leave the music company open to prosecution under the Computer Misuse Act because it made "unauthorised" changes to a machine, said net law expert Nick Lockett.
Does that mean we are safe in the UK at present and this technology has only been used in the US so far?
 
S

shadowritten

Guest
shadowritten said:
UPDATE: Anyone concerned that XCP (the technology Sony is using to cloak anti-piracy files on your PC) should follow this link: http://updates.xcp-aurora.com/ for advice on safe removal.
Just downloaded and run this program - said XCP not installed on my PC! :clap:

Interestingly, in the Properties dialog box, under the Version tab, the Comments box says 'Malware Security Fix'. Why? Because of the fear that this hidden software could allow the entry of malware ... or because the XCP program files themselves might constitute malware :confused:
 
S

shadowritten

Guest
Sony + software = disaster!

When WILL this company learn?
 
B

Bacon_N_Cheese

Guest
Yeah, when I got my Kasabian cd I was mad cause when I put in on the computer it restarted it. I had to hold down shift and then open the cd by right click>open with.. and then soncstage. Then I just saved it to my comp. I also had to manually remove the kit it installed :/
 
S

shadowritten

Guest
Bacon_N_Cheese said:
Yeah, when I got my Kasabian cd I was mad cause when I put in on the computer it restarted it. I had to hold down shift and then open the cd by right click>open with.. and then soncstage. Then I just saved it to my comp. I also had to manually remove the kit it installed :/
I'd forgotten that the Kasabian CD had copy control. So, after going into the registry and doing the following:


NB: PLEASE DO NOT ENTER YOUR PC REGISTRY IF YOU'RE NOT CONFIDENT ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE DOING! YOU COULD HARM YOUR PC.


[Start] [Run] [Regedit]
Registry Key: KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Cdrom
Modify/Create the Value Data Type(s) and Value Name(s) as detailed below.

Data Type: REG_DWORD [Dword Value] // Value Name: AutoRun
Setting for Value Data: [0 = AutoRun Disabled / 1 = AutoRun Enabled]

Exit Registry and Reboot



... I inserted Kasabian and bingo: no autorun! I think in this day and age, it's safer NOT to let CDs run automatically on your PC. Sad, but true ...


EDIT: One small, but rather important, drawback to disabling AutoRun - SS won't recognise any CDs inserted to the selected drive for importing! Typical!
 
D

dicko100

Guest
At the expense of being 100% pessimistic, DRM will probably end up destroying the world in a cataclysmic fireball of money, greed and culture. The end :thumbsup:
 
S

Sasso

Guest
In one of the other stories...He (Dr Russinovich) also criticised Sony BMG for making it difficult to get hold of software that can uninstall XCP.

I dont get this statement, if its so hard to get rid of then didnt sony do a good job at making it? Why would he criticise them for that? Of course its spyware but its still a good job right.
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
Sony have also said that they will stop this and rethink it all, they should never have done this in my opinion as it is installing stuff without people knowing on their own personal computers. Don't forget these are people who have bought a legitimate copy of the CD as well.
 

batesym

Standard Member
Check you dont have any of the CDs listed on this site as containing the Sony Rootkits. Apparently there weren't 20 (as Sony admitted) there were nearly 50. Including the Foo Fighters and other famous artists. Not sure this is a complete list.

Seems like when sony admitted the 20 cds they "forgot" they owned Columbia and other recording studios - and "forgot" they had used their "copy protection" on these cds as well.

This kind of thing really gets me angry. Lets hope this comes back to bite Sony big style. Lets face it they need a kick up the arse.
 

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